Undeserved Mercy

Undeserved Mercy

When I was introduced to him, John was only one bad “fix” away from death. John had been actively using drugs since the age of nine. His father introduced him to drugs and alcohol to calm him down when he was acting up or just trying to be a kid. As you can imagine,...

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Called by the Prince of Peace

Called by the Prince of Peace

Isaiah prophesied that the Prince of Peace would reign over his kingdom. In the New Testament we discover that this Prince would not establish his rule with armies and weapons but through followers and the gospel. Jesus Christ has been calling disciples to carry his...

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Redeeming Eid al-Adha

Redeeming Eid al-Adha

Some of my fondest memories of community life in the Muslim village in Chad that my family lived in for nearly ten years revolve around the holidays—not only Christian holidays, but also Muslim ones. Perhaps the most popular Muslim holiday of the year is Eid al-Adha...

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Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year

If you were to lump together the sense of family, friends, and feasting of Thanksgiving, the deep well of tradition at Christmas, and the pomp and celebration of New Year’s Day, that may get you close to what Lunar New Year is like. It is arguably the oldest and most...

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Peace that Comes from God

Peace that Comes from God

I grew up in a non-Christian household, so I never heard God’s Word until coming to Hillcrest Academy in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. Coming into an environment where God’s Word was constantly spoken was a challenge for me. Not only was I confused and didn’t fully...

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Think About It

Think About It

Years ago, the Minnesota Vikings had a quarterback by the name of Christian Ponder. I always thought his name should have an application in an article or a sermon, but I could never find one… until now. Now there is a great difference between ponderous and pondering....

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Timeless Love

Timeless Love

It would be the last time the young pastor would visit the old man, and there was something heavy on the old man’s heart. He had spent the last few months in physical pain, but that was not what troubled him now. Now he seemed at peace with the pain, and even to...

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Gathered in Christ

Gathered in Christ

“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me’” (Matthew 28:16-18)....

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Backwards Grace

Backwards Grace

The grace of God is backwards. It does not make any sense. At least that is how things look from the world’s perspective. If you want something in this world you must work for it—you put in the time and effort. You give the blood, sweat, and tears necessary to earn...

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“I Am With You”

“I Am With You”

It’s been wedding season in our extended family, with two of our sons and two nephews marrying in the last nine months! I had the privilege of officiating all four. At the last wedding, Sam and Meghan’s, I gave them this verse: “…as God’s chosen people, holy and...

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Christ Goes With You

Christ Goes With You

Has life ever caused you great doubt? What do you do? Where do you go? There are times when we are crying out saying, “Dear Lord, I have no idea what to do. Please show me the way.” This last year has given out crazy things to deal with like never before, and...

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Recovering a Lost Treasure

Recovering a Lost Treasure

I sometimes wonder if many of God’s people feel disconnected from the Great Commission. After all, what does our work as a waitress or a welder, a business owner or a barista, a paralegal or a parent have to do with God’s redemptive mission? Have you heard the saying...

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Going to the Brokenness

Going to the Brokenness

We hear in the Great Commission a call to go. What does it mean to go? Before Jesus ascends into heaven, he gives this charge to his disciples, to his followers. Why should they go? Because he wants to use his followers to bring all people into relationship with him....

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Ask in My Name

Ask in My Name

When I was a young Christian, Dave Skaret was one of the coolest guys I knew. In my mind, he was one of those iconic characters, like James Dean, Steve McQueen, or Paul Newman, who loved muscle cars and motorcycles, and had the stories of building hot rods and drag...

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“NO”

“NO”

Life is hard. Beset by sin and its consequences in our lives and in the world around us, we experience real hurts through our circumstances and relationships. As if that is not enough, we also contend with emotional, psychological, and physical suffering. Over the...

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